It was a textbook – and criminal – software as a service: Grant access to a software kit that makes it easy to lock up the hard drives on victims’ PCs, then skim 20% of the take from those who actually use the kit to extort payments.
The scheme experienced meteoric growth in just days, but once it became public knowledge its architect couldn’t stand the threat of legal problems and is now backing off – which wasn’t the original plan at all.
“Plan A was to stay quiet and hidden,” the coder wrote yesterday on the Tox malware site buried deep behind the onion router (Tor) network. But Plan A was overturned by researchers at Intel Security who found the site and wrote about it just four days after it was set up.
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